Cyber Criminology: The Prevalence of Cyberstalking, Online Harrassment and Bullying

2020 Words 9 Pages
The internet has put the world literally at anyone’s fingertips with a vast quantity of information is a mouse-click away. Information that was once only available in obscure reference libraries or card catalogs can be accessed by everyone. Unfortunately the internet is an equal opportunity tool, and those with virtuous as well as nefarious intentions can use this open resource to further their efforts to levels heretofore unheard of. The internet is also soapbox for free speech that epitomizes the intentions of the founding fathers to allow everyone the same opportunity to have their opinions aired. There is a line that often blurs between legitimate and illegal behavior, when does harsh criticism become bullying, when does an expression …show more content…
Where the note and the emails are clearly annoying, and can be deemed inappropriate, but illegal harassment and defining the elements of a crime is more illusive than it would appear at first brush. The traditional “real world” defined as “. . .words, conduct or actions . . . that . . . annoys, alarms or causes substantial emotional stress in the person and serves no legitimate purpose . . .” (Jameson, 2008, p.235). The harassment and annoyance factors are key in cyberstalking and this can take the form of emails, blogs or postings and technology can facilitate the perpetrator’s ease in committing illegal acts.
There is further difficulty in defining cyberstalking because it is often a term that is interchangeable with cyberbullying and cyberharassment (Jameson, 2008, p.236). This wide array of internet criminal activity is defined along a continuum of cybercrime extending from purely in the physical world to purely in cyberspace (Gordon and Ford, 2006, p.15). The exclusionary definition of cyberstalking and distinguishing it from other similar cybercrimes helps with narrowing the definition of cyberstalking. Cyberbullying is the use of the internet to exhibit aggressive behavior aimed at intimidating or inducing fear

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